Alakol-Sasykkol Lakes System

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Alakol-Sasykkol Lakes System

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    914,663 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    46°16'N 81°31'E
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Alakol-Sasykkol Lakes System. 25/11/09; Almaty, East Kazakhstan Oblasts; 914,663 ha; 46°16'N 081°32'E. State Nature Reserve. The Lakes System is Kazakhstan's largest reserve for nesting wetland birds and a major migratory stop, with over a hundred thousand waterbirds and semi-aquatic birds stopping annually. The system, located in an ancient tectonic depression, comprises 529 river-fed lakes, ranging from saline to fresh water, providing highly diverse habitat for 342 bird species, including 11 internationally threatened species, 203 nesting bird species, and appreciable numbers of moulting waterfowl during summer. Humid, desert, lowland, and mountainous types of habitats are located in very close proximity, and the site is characterized broadly as having five vegetation types: desert, meadow, forest, submerged aquatic, and shrubs. Overlaying significant groundwater resources, the Lakes System also hosts a large variety of endemic and relict plant and fish species, as well as two internationally Vulnerable mammal species (Vormela peregusna and Gazella subgutturosa). The three largest lakes are important fisheries, with annual assessment of optimum catch quotas. The lakes attract many visitors during the summer months, and a viewing tower and visitor centre are planned for construction. The lakes' ecological character is affected by illegal hunting and fishing, uncontrolled water extraction, cattle grazing, recreation, and fires. A management plan has been developed. Ramsar site no. 1892. Most recent RIS information: 2009.

Administrative region: 
Almaty Oblast and East Kazakhstan Oblast

  • National legal designation: 
    • State Nature Reserve
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

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